Adding extra-salt may make food tastier, but it can also has a negative effect on your health. With that in mind, Japanese researchers have invented a fork that creates a salty taste in your mouth at the press of a button, by releasing an electrical current which stimulates the tongue.
Salt has long been associated with blood pressure, an increased risk of heart disease and even a risk of stomach cancer. It’s clear that many people are eating too much salt, but no one really likes bland food. There may be a middle way.
The prototype fork, which was built from just $24 worth of electronics, creates the sensation of both salty and sour, and can be adjusted for different intensities. The handle of the fork incorporates a rechargeable battery and electric circuit. When the user inserts the head of the fork into the mouth with food while pressing a button on the handle, a certain level of electric current is applied to the tongue. The fork was developed based on the “electric flavoring” technology being researched by Hiromi Nakamura at Rekimoto Lab, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the University of Tokyo. It’s based on a technology which stimulates the tongue to make it feel salty or sour, the same “electric test” being used to see if some parts of the tongue are fully functional or not.
At this moment, it’s not clear whether or not the fork will become widely available. For now, the prototype was prepared for “No Salt Restaurant,” a project to offer a salt-free full-course meal.